For years, the saying “Hip-hop ain’t dead, it lives in the north,” has been floating around, on T-shirts and through on and offline circles (shout out @ThatsBizz). Well, in 2014, there was no shortage of urban music being made or released in Canada. Team Urbanology knows this firsthand as our inboxes (and mentions) stay flooded with new music submissions (newmedia @ urbanologymag.com with new singles, videos, EPs, mixtapes and albums, please). But through it all, three Canadian releases stood out this year to our Senior Writer and hardest to impress music critic – Sean Watson, a.k.a. @MaajinnBluu. Take it in and if you agree, disagree or have some other Canadian gems from 2014 to tell him about – hit us up, @UrbanologyMag.

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PARTYNEXTDOOR // PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO & PNDCOLOURS EP

PND can do no wrong. After becoming The Six’s best kept secret, touring with Drake and Future helped cement him as a great Drake investment. Not only does PND’s album earn him a spot on this list, but also the Mississauga singer/producer throws his PNDCOLOURS in for good measure just before the end of the year. And like usual it’s got one of those signature PARTYNEXTDOOR bangers in “Don’t Worry” featuring Ca$h Out. OVO looks like it may be gearing up for a big 2015. Look for PND to be the reliable pinch hitter.

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Sean Leon // Narcissus, THE DROWNING OF EGO

This kid right here is something special. Narcissus, THE DROWNING OF EGO is soul jarring. It’s the type of release that shocks you as you enter. The opening salvo “Narcissus” rages on for 10 minutes delving into the darkness of indulgence and peaking in the humour of absurdity, before infecting you with the virulence of “Pretty Girls Put Boys In Cemeteries”. Some may balk at the awkwardness of “Liquid Courage” or take offense at the audacity of “Real Girls Get Down On The Floor”, but in the context of Narcissus as an examination of a burgeoning star, whether factual or imagined, the body of work is fascinating.

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Luu Breeze // Goodbye, Farewell, Remember EP

I think Luu Breeze waited all year to sneak in with this short, but sweet, EP to steal the year. Breeze sounds reinvigorated on “No Grace from the Borough”, vicious on “Peace to the Gods” and playful on “Don’t Know You” featuring G Milla. Of course, he throws in “Love on the 1st” for the ladies. It’s that effortless range that has always kept Luu Breeze on the cusp – the thought that when all the stars align he is capable of putting out some damn good music. Let’s hope Breeze takes another 52 weeks to release his next project.

@MaajinnBluu